Selfless, loving, and kind, Kathy Gail Fuerst lived a heart-centered life rooted in family and service to others. With a powerful drive to help others, Kathy dedicated her life to the good care of her family and community. Whether creating a loving home, supporting her children’s endeavors, or caring for other people’s children, Kathy provided a safe harbor from Life’s storms by unflinchingly sharing her unwavering faith and loving arms. Cherished by many, Kathy’s love and light will long live in the hearts of those she loved.
The 1950’s were known as the decade of the Baby Boomer. With the Great Depression and WWII firmly in the past, the decade centered around family. Jobs were abundant, and the simple things like buying a home and raising children became the focus for most. Whether catching a ball game or watching TV, family time was the goal and hope for the future the norm. It was with this sense of hope that Elmo and Mary Gentry (nee Gawf), of Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, welcomed their daughter Kathy into their hearts and home on October 6th, 1959.
Though Kathy’s earliest years were spent in Walnut Ridge, her family moved up to Rockford, Illinois in 1964. There she grew up in a family that was firmly centered in a strong faith life. Together, the Gentrys explored and celebrated their faith at their home church, First United Pentecostal Church, where Kathy shared her gifts as a piano player and worship singer with her older sisters Charlene and Darlene.
During her teen years, Kathy was also heavily involved in Home Economics. Baking and sewing were her favorite subjects. Never one to shy away from hard work, she started her first job during these years; she tirelessly worked on an assembly line as a spot welder at Nylint Toy Factory.
After high school, Kathy worked a number of office jobs and eventually landed full-time work as a secretary at Clinton Electrics.
In February of 1983, Kathy’s grandmother, Wilma Gentry, presented her with the gift of a lifetime, an introduction to Mark Fuerst. Instantly smitten, the pair began dating in March. They shared their first meal at McDonald’s where Kathy, protected by her younger brother Tim, refused to eat her meal because she was more interested in pursuing her sweetheart to be. Kathy and Mark steadily dated for nearly eight months before Mark purposed around Kathy’s 24th birthday. Kathy responded with an immediate “yes!” and they married a few short months later on March 3, 1984, in Rockford at First United Pentecostal Church.
The happy couple stayed in Rockford for their early years of marriage and then moved to Wisconsin due to the nature of Mark’s job. After many good years of just the two of them, it was time to welcome their son, Dustin, in March of 1990. Daughter Kayla joined the family in November of 1991 and son Darren in March of 1993. After Darren’s arrival it was certain they needed more room to grow, so they purchased their home in Franksville, WI where they have lived ever since. In September of 1995, their family became complete with the birth of their final son, Devin. Before having children, Kathy worked in microfilm transcription as well as supplies and sales at Master Lock. She chose to quit just a month before Dustin was born to raise her family in love as a stay-at-home mom.
Determined to build their family with a similar foundation of faith as the one she grew up with when Mark and Kathy moved to Wisconsin in 1987, they returned to Mark’s church family at Elim Tabernacle. With signature enthusiasm for service, Kathy served alongside Mark as a 5th and 6th Grade Sunday School Teacher from 1987 to 1995. She also volunteered and worked in various roles at Elim Christian Academy to be close to her children during their school years.
For those who were blessed to meet her, Kathy’s boundless capacity for love was evident in everything she did. Her heart was truly happiest when caring for children. As her own children grew older, Kathy realized her time as a stay-at-home mom was coming to a close. In 2002, she answered her heart’s calling and gained new purpose working at Parkway Daycare. Kathy had a true passion for the care of children, and she poured out a love that could only be of God to all those she encountered. Without a doubt, she was a kid and parent favorite whose love and care left a lasting impact on all who knew her. As children graduated from her class, they still made sure to say hello and goodbye to Kathy each day.
Shortly after starting work at the daycare, Mark and Kathy made Parkway Apostolic Church their home church. This was an extra blessing for Kathy as many of her former students were also members of the church fellowship which made it easy to stay in touch and share their lives. Kathy worked at the daycare for nearly eight years before moving on to Always Best Care where she worked the remainder of her life lovingly serving those in need of in-home care assistance.
In November of 2016, Kathy found her most delightful calling when her first grandchild, Everly June, was born. With the birth of Everly, Kathy voluntarily reduced her work hours to part-time so she could lend her expertise and help Dustin and Kara through the journey of parenthood. With immeasurable joy, Kathy gave a great deal of her time to carrying and nurturing Everly’s life. She relished in being a “Nana” and consciously created lasting memories her entire family will long cherish. Kathy was over the moon when she learned she would be getting another grandchild to spoil at the end of March this year. Already counting down the days when Kara would return to work from maternity leave, Kathy eagerly looked forward to being with her two grandchildren.
Certainly, Kathy’s unexpected departure leaves us stunned and saddened, as the world is significantly duller without Kathy’s loving smile and warm comfort. While it is beyond words to describe the depth of loss we feel in her absence, may we find comfort in our many sweet memories of the beautiful woman we knew. May it afford additional comfort to know that Kathy’s legacy of love and care for others lives on in the hearts and lives of those who were blessed to know her; and that she would want nothing more than for her loved ones to continue to have the great lives she worked so hard to help them create.
Kathy Gail Fuerst: Entered into her rest March 3, 2018, at the age of 58. Kathy is the beloved wife of Mark C. Fuerst for 34 years. She is the cherished mother of Dustin (Kara) Fuerst, Kayla Fuerst, Darren Fuerst, and Devin Fuerst. The loving grandmother of Everly Fuerst and was anxiously awaiting the birth of her second grandchild, due March 31st. Loving daughter of Mary and the late Elmo Gentry. She is the dear sister of Charlene (Harold) Adams, Darlene (Joe) Hulbert and James Tim Gentry. Fond sister-in-law of Karen Raeder, Rhonda Sheldon and Kurt (Lisa) Fuerst. She is further survived by many beloved aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
Family and friends will gather Thursday, March 8, 2018, at Parkway Apostolic Church 10940S. Nicholson Road, Oak Creek, WI 53154 form 4:00 PM until time of the Memorial Service at 6:00 PM
Kathy dedicated so much of her life to serving others, especially children. Her passion was to love children, so the family has requested that any memorial contributions be made in Kathy’s name to Team Kenya of Parkway Apostolic Church or Tupelo Children’s Mansion via Parkway Church Faith Initiatives
Niemann / Suminski
LifeStory Funeral Homes